How to make my (now) famous Mince and Onion Pies (Part 3 of 3)

OK, here we go for the final part of the trilogy, if you have been following the series you know that part 1 was all about the pastry, part 2 was about the filling and this part is all about putting it all together to complete the pie.  I like this part of the process the most because it satisfying to complete everything and smell those pies as they come out of the oven.  This method is for creating the 5″ versions of the pies, I’ll add some notes for the 9″ version as we go along.

What you need?

  • The pastry
  • The filling
  • Some flour for dusting
  • An egg
  • Some milk
  • A whisk
  • A rolling pin
  • A fork for crimping
  • A knife for cutting the pastry
  • A couple of bowls
  • A brush
  • 5″ foil tins or a 9″ pie dish
What you need
What you need

Preparation

Before you start take the pastry out of the fridge and leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes, this will soften it up a little but not too much, then cut the pastry into 3 parts, for the 9″ pie you use the whole lot.  Also prepare the egg and milk mixture in a small bowl, use the whisk to create a smooth mixture, for a strict vegetarian version just use milk .  Also pre-heat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit, 175° Celsius, Gas Mark 4.

Cut the pastry into 3 sections
Cut the pastry into 3 sections

Take one of these pieces and start kneading it a little and then shape it into what I like to call a puck.

Knead the pastry a little and make it into a puck
Knead the pastry a little and make it into a puck

Note that I have added a little flour to the puck so that it stops it from sticking, now you are ready to start rolling it out.

Rolling the pastry
Rolling the pastry

Start by elongating the pastry one way, then turn it over and turn it around 9o° (add a little more flour) and continue rolling.

Rolling the pastry
Rolling the pastry
Rolling the pastry
Rolling the pastry

Keep doing this until you think that the pastry is large enough to fit the bottom of the pie dish, what I do is use the pie dish as a guide, see below, it should be larger than the circumference of the dish by about the size of the sides.

Check the size, it should overlap a little
Check the size, it should overlap a little

Once you have the correct size carefully put the pastry into the pie dish.

Put base into the pie dish
Put base into the pie dish
Press it in firmly
Press it in firmly
The result with the base in place
The result with the base in place

Now you can roll out the top of the pie, use the same technique that you used for the base, this time use another pie dish for a guide, remember that this is the top so it should not be much larger than the pie dish.

Roll out the top, not so much overlap
Roll out the top, not so much overlap

Put the pie tin into a plate and add that lovely filling right to the top of the pie dish.

Add the filling
Add the filling

Now brush on the egg/milk mixture around the rim of the pie, this will help the top and base stick together nicely.

Brush the edges with the egg and milk mixture
Brush the edges with the egg and milk mixture

Now place add the pastry for the top and press it down lightly around the edges

Add the top and press it down
Add the top and press it down

You now use the fork to crimp the top and the base together, put your finger under the rim of the edge and press down from the top to create that edging and seal the top and the base firmly.

Use the fork to seal the pie
Use the fork to seal the pie
Use the fork to seal the pie
Use the fork to seal the pie

This is what it should look like.

This is what you are after
This is what you are after

Now you can cut around the rim to remove the excess pastry.

Cut off the excess with a knife
Cut off the excess with a knife

Add a couple of air holes in the to of the pastry using the knife, put the excess to one side we’ll use that in a minute.

Pierce the top with a couple of air holes
Pierce the top with a couple of air holes

Put the pie to one side and make about 5 or 6 of them before going to the next stage.  This is where we use up the excess pastry that we cut off the pie a moment ago.

Using up the excess
Using up the excess

Knead the pastry from the excess to make it consistent and then roll it out, now you can start to be creative to make a garnish for the top of the pie.  Traditionally people tend to add leaves that are cut out from the pastry and scored with veins, I have done this before but this batch has something different, smiley faces 🙂  Obviously you could also use a cookie cutter as long as the shapes were not too big.

I used a tall thin glass to create the shape of the face.

Roll it out and use a cutter or do something yourself
Roll it out and use a cutter or do something yourself

Now I have the shape of the face, what about the eyes, I used a turkey baster to create the eyes, you can even use the sucker to pull out the ‘eyes’ from the pastry.

Using a turkey baster for making the eyes
Using a turkey baster for making the eyes

Then use the knife to cut out the mouth, again, be creative.

Cut out the mouth
Cut out the mouth

The result.

Completed smiley face
Completed smiley face

Now brush some of the egg and milk mixture where you are going to place the smiley face, again, this is to make it stick.

Brush the top with more egg and milk mixture
Brush the top with more egg and milk mixture

Add the smiley face to the top of the pie.

Add the smiley face
Add the smiley face

Now brush the rest of the pie (including the smiley face) with the egg and milk mixture, this will give the pie a nice colour when it is baked, get into every nook and cranny.

Brush everything with egg and milk mixture
Brush everything with egg and milk mixture
Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

Put the pies on a cookie sheet in batches of 5 or 6.

Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

Once you have done this for all the pies you are ready to start baking.  As previously mentioned your oven should be at 350° Fahrenheit, 175° Celsius, Gas Mark 4.

350 degrees farenheit for 45 to 55 minutes
350 degrees Farenheit for 45 to 55 minutes

Baking takes about 45 to 55 minutes, this is where you need to keep an eye on things to make sure that the pie does not burn.  This is the final product

The final product
The final product
The final product
The final product

What now?

You can eat these straight away after letting them cool for a little while.  You can refrigerate them for a few days after they have cooled down enough; what I do is use a Ziplock  bag to store the 5″ pies.  You can also freeze them and they’ll keep for longer, I haven’t stored them for more than a month (they never last that long with me).

Reheating the pies is a cinch, make sure the pie is defrosted, you can reheat in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.  Or what I do is to remove the pie from the tin, placing the pie upside down on a plate, then use the microwave on a medium power level for about 6-7 minutes, slow and steady.

You can serve the pie with chips (English chips) or French Fries, baked beans (the British Heinz are the best) and maybe some Branston pickle.

References

The original recipe came from this web site, as stated in the previous posts they use slightly different ingredients, do what you think you will like.  The method and ingredients for the pastry came from here, again, I changed this recipe because I didn’t like the use of lard so I just use 100% butter.

Finally

This has taken some time to put together but it has been satisfying to write up something about these as everyone who has tried the pies loves them.  I would love to hear from you if you actually took the time to make these bad boys, let me know whether you changed the recipe and how it went down.

Peace!

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